Factors Affecting Self-Censorship Among Polish Journalists

Agnieszka Stępińska


The aim of this paper is to recognize the factors limiting journalists’ sense of autonomy and affecting the level of their self-censorship during the last three decades of the post-transformation period. The issue will be addressed two-fold. First, we will analyze changes in the journalists’ perception on their professional autonomy. Second, we will examine trends in relations between the political system and media system in Poland since the 1990s. The findings show that in the 1990s journalists were still much more concerned about the political factors which could affect their work than about the economic ones. A decade later they had become much more aware of the economic pressures on their profession, such as owners’ expectations and market-driven journalism. In the last few years, however, the constant pressure of ongoing government reforms aimed at bringing the press under tighter political control, as well as the emphasis on ‘national’ content, has already led to some degree of self-censorship on the part of journalists.

Słowa kluczowe: journalists, autonomy, self-censorship, Poland, factors

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